PHILADELPHIA, PA –
The Eagles fell to 2-3 last week against the Minnesota Vikings and now have to go against the division rival, New York Giants on a short week. Here’s what to watch on Thursday night:
1. Testing the Run Defense – The Eagle’s run defense has been phenomenal so far but for the first time this season, they go up against one of the top running backs in the NFL. The Giant’s offensive line might be dreadful but Saquon Barkley has still managed to break off at least one big play every game, finding the end zone often. He also has the ability to excel as a pass-catcher so do not be surprised if Malcolm Jenkins is following him around the field on Thursday night.
2. Getting Pressure – Tied for 16th in the NFL in sacks, the Eagles haven’t been able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks like many expected. Luckily, the Giants are one of the best teams to go up against if you want to figure out your pass-rush problems. Derek Barnett should be back and the defensive line needs to generate pressure in order to help out the struggling secondary.
3. Ajayi Out – On Monday we found out that Jay Ajayi will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. While we are all trying to speculate whether or not Howie Roseman will make a move, nothing will happen before this Thursday night’s game. With Ajayi out, the offense is going to have to depend on guys like Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, and Josh Adams who have been more than capable so far. Overall the running game hasn’t been an issue even with the injuries that have plagued Ajayi, Clement, and Sproles.
4. Giants Wide Receivers – The Giant’s wide receiver core has been a spectacle, to say the least. Odell Beckham JR has been outspoken as usual causing frustration in the locker room and Sterling Shepard had a complete meltdown on the sidelines last week. This could cause them to come out firing on all cylinders or it could cause frustration and disappointment. This will be a make or break week for a Giants team that is on the verge of a complete rebuild.
5. Eagle’s Secondary – This will be something to watch for the rest of the season obviously, but going up against one of the best receivers in the NFL is really going to test Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby. The biggest weakness for the secondary comes against fast receivers who run perfect routes and that is exactly what Beckham Jr and Sterling Shepard do. Weather should be on the secondary’s side though as it going to be a rainy Thursday night, making it hard to pass.
Tune in to FOX at 8:20PM to watch the Eagles take on the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football. You can also follow the action and join the conversation as we live tweet on Twitter: @BirdsInformer during the game.